- Alexis Brett and her husband, David, have ten children — and they are all boys
- The 38-year-old former nurse wakes up at 5.30am every day to clean the house
- Each day she does five loads of washing and says that she vacuums seven times
- Despite her domestic workload, she has time to go to the gym three days a week
She must be Britain’s most outnumbered mum.
For Alexis Brett’s household is extraordinarily one-sided – all ten of her children are boys.
The 38-year-old former nurse, whose husband David, 43, is a train driver, admits it does make it difficult to apply a few feminine touches. She insists on a bunch of flowers in the dining room and some scented candles placed strategically to ‘make the house smell nice’.
But that barely compensates for having to put up with always finding the loo seat left up and Lego strewn on floors – and never having time for a nice long soak in the bath.
‘I don’t even try because no sooner do I get in than I get a knock on the door from one of the boys wanting me for something,’ says Mrs Brett, whose sons range in age from seven months to 16.
Step into the Bretts’ five-bedroom home and it’s immediately clear you’re entering Boy World.
In the hallway are 60 pairs of muddy trainers and walking boots, lined up in ascending size, with not a ballet flat or high heel in sight. Scattered around the house are ten video game consoles.
Not surprisingly, Mrs Brett is on a round-the-clock mission to make sure it doesn’t look like a tornado has just ripped through her home. Each day she does five loads of washing and vacuums seven times.
She gets up at 5.30am to give herself an hour to get dressed and do her hair and make-up.
Then she faces the task of getting up all ten boys – Campbell, 16, Harrison, 14, Corey, 12, Lachlan, nine, Brodie, eight, Brahn, seven, Hunter, five, Mack, three, Blake, two, and seven-month-old Rothagaidh.
Despite a domestic workload most would find too daunting, Mrs Brett does not put her feet up when she has any spare time.
She goes to the gym three times a week, has just qualified as a fitness instructor and plans to start giving classes next year.
She says she has found it relatively easy ‘to ping’ back into shape after the birth of each boy because she spends so much time on her feet.
Despite receiving no paid childcare she is sanguine about her workload.
It helps, no doubt, that she has a ready laugh – she says that makes it easier to deal with the boys’ toilet humour – and a refreshingly fuss-free approach to parenting.
‘A lie-in. What’s that?’ she jokes. ‘I can’t see me getting one of those until by 2034 and I will probably have grandchildren by then.’
Her husband, who works flexible shifts, shares the cooking and childcare duties even though he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s five years ago.
The couple, from Inverness, even manage to make time for a night out together twice a month.
Mrs Brett, an only child, says it was never her intention to have a big family but she ‘just kept falling pregnant’.
‘After you’ve had four it’s not much of a jump because by then everything becomes a routine and every one fits in. The key is also not to get stressed. If something happens, with ten boys you have the perspective to know it will work itself out in the end.
‘Although I like things around the house to be done properly and the house to be kept clean, I am a pretty chilled-out parent.’
And she is not worried that she has never had a daughter.
‘I’m happy with my boys. I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with a girl now. We have always found out the sex at the 20-week scan, but don’t even expect to get a girl. It must be the way I’m made.’
However, Mrs Brett says she has no plans to go for son number 11 to complete a one-family football team.
She says: ‘I’m getting hip pain and I think it’s my body’s way of telling me to stop, which is fair enough. Ten boys is a nice even number and it seems a good place to call time.
‘David and I do sometimes look at each other to say, «What have we done?» but then when the boys come out with something funny and make us laugh it makes it all worthwhile. We feel like we’ve created a unique family unit.’